Asbestos in Consumer Products
Before the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was established, asbestos was widely used. As a result of its widespread use, many people have subsequently developed mesothelioma, and other illnesses. Lawsuits became common in the 1970s and 1980s as patients more commonly developed mesothelioma and the connection with asbestos was established. Unfortunately, trace asbestos can sometimes be found today in imported goods.
Common in Household Items
Asbestos was widely used in construction, ship building, and heavy industry, in addition to many other consumer goods like paper and textiles. Unfortunately, corporations are reported to have hidden medical research suggesting the dangers of asbestos for years.
For most of the 1900s, the widespread use of asbestos-based insulation was prevalent throughout the United States in both small and large equipment. Insulated products include automatic bottle warmers, electric ovens, dishwashers, heaters, hairdryers, curling irons, popcorn poppers, coffee pots, slow cookers and toasters. While most products posed no health risk unless taken apart, hair dryers were the exception. The heating element had insulation which was soft and friable. Sometimes, this friable material was released into the air if the device was powered on.
Additionally, home products and wire insulation all used asbestos. When these products were released into the air, they could be inhaled or if they contaminate food, they could be ingested.
Woven into Fabric
Asbestos is fibrous in nature and as a result, was sometimes woven into fabrics. This could be seen in many gas ranges and oil lamps. Sometimes, the softer textiles would release to the air, resulting in inhalation.
Many people who have developed asbestos-related illnesses as a result of asbestos exposure have filed lawsuits against companies. Judith Winkel won a $13 million dollar verdict and Philip Depoian won an $18 million dollar lawsuit, for example.